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Full text of "A history of Persia"

RISE OF THE SAFAVI DYNASTY       247
in A.H. 930 (1524) at the age of ten, and was naturally
in the hands of the chiefs of the Kizilbash tribes, who
intrigued for power against one another. His first cam-
paign was against the Uzbegs, whom his general defeated
in A.H. 934 (1527) on a battlefield which was pointed out
to me near Turbat-i-Shaykh Jam. A rebellion called the
Shah to Baghdad, where the chief of the Kalhor tribe,
which still exists in the neighbourhood of Kermanshah,
had usurped the government. This rebel he put to
death. Yet again, in A.H. 937 (1530), the Uzbegs invaded
Persia and besieged Herat for eighteen months, until
upon the approach of Tahmasp they retreated.
The Invasions of Persia by Sulayman the Magnificent.—
The Ottoman menace was serious during the long reign of
Sulayman the Magnificent. That monarch, upon learning
of the death of Shah Ismail and the accession of his son, sent
the latter a minatory letter couehednn" insulting language.
The Persian monarch vouchsafed no reply, but despatched
envoys to the King of Hungary and to the Emperor
Charles VII. with proposals:'*|pr an offensive and defensive
alliance. Fortunately for Persia^ its .poverty and lack of
resources made it a less desirable *;£>rey than the fair pro-
vinces of Hungary and Austria. Nevertheless, in A.H.
94° (I534) a Turkish army invaded the country, and
after conquering Mesopotamia, took Tabriz. Encouraged
by this success and by the submission of the rulers
of Shirwar and Gilan, or desiring to outdo his father's
exploits, Sulayman advanced as far east as Sultania ; he
then, with the loss of part of his artillery, crossed the
Zagros range and took possession of Baghdad. Four
years later he again invaded Persia and captured Tabriz ;
and subsequently he gained possession of the almost
impregnable fortress of Van. Tahmasp, the "Bactrian
Sophi," whose defensive policy is commemorated in the
lines of Milton quoted as a heading to this chapter,
followed up the invaders as they retreated, and, although
the Persians lost heavily owing to a clever Turkish ruse in
which a herd of horses was made to stampede the camp,
the results of the campaign were indecisive.
The Fugitive Emperor Humayun,—The foundation by